This spring interdisciplinary video artist, Kara Hearn is mounting a defiantly optimistic, barebones, experimentally cast production that uses an orphan-themed Broadway musical, we have been advised not to name (hereafter referred to as “[unnamed Broadway musical]”), as its point of departure. Denied the right to perform any of the original material in the gallery, the cast, under the guidance of Hearn’s creative team will have the absurd task, that is, the creative challenge of generating a production that somehow fulfills the performers’ sincere desire to be in [unnamed Broadway musical] without them actually being in [unnamed Broadway musical].
This impractical project will take place in consultation with a lawyer over 5 weeks at the EFA Project Space in Manhattan. The project will exist as an ongoing live performance (rehearsals will be open to the public) and in its final form as a 30 to 45 minute video documenting the process of putting on the production, from auditions to opening night. The project will also serve as an inquiry into the murkiness of copyright law and fair use for artists interested in working with the pervasive popular content that so intimately shapes our notions of identity and self.
All of the performers will be adults and the casting of each part will be based more on the willingness and desire of the performers than on singing, dancing ability, or appearance. We hope to tap into a population who perhaps fantasized as children about being the orphan star of [unnamed Broadway musical] or being in [unnamed Broadway musical], but for whom it wasn’t a possibility perhaps because of gender, race, talent, or other circumstantial barriers. Through interviews with the cast each person’s relationship to the idea of abandonment / being overlooked will be explored in the hopes of uncovering the allegorical appeal of the orphan tale.
While new obstacles again threaten these childhood aspirations, we persevere with plucky optimism in the hope that [unnamed Broadway musical] will be transformed into something completely different, original, and more relevant; that the participants will still fulfill an unrequited dream and the resulting performance and video will be absurd, sad, funny, and radically simple without making fun of anyone involved, except [unnamed Broadway musical], but only if we are legally required to do so.